C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Discrepancies within Stem Cell Approval

Apparently Obama has decided to sign ‘an executive order Monday repealing a Bush-era policy that limited federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research.’ While I read the article from CNN, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of inconsistencies in the ideals of the quoted supporters of such an action.

Barack Obama: "In this case, I believe the two [sound science and moral values] are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research -- and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."

[Comment] I assume we are just not responsible enough to have the humanity and conscience to exercise our faith in ensuring the unborn child also does not suffer and is cared for.

Nancy Reagan: "Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases."

[Comment] I assume we are to allow the death (or destruction, as some put it) or suffering of some children to benefit the children chosen to live, since apparently a cure for a disease is more important than the life of an unborn child.

Faith and responsibility….indeed…I would say America needs some.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Does Faith Combat Anxiety

Today, I read the short article entitled Study: Believing in God can reduce anxiety in the Health News section of UPI.com. According to the report, apparently the studied showed that those who believe in God were less stressed about their errors than those who profess to not believe in God.

"We found that religious people or even people who simply believe in the existence of God show significantly less brain activity [in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain] in relation to their own errors," Inzlicht said. "They're much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error."

I found this report quite interesting, and my initial thoughts surrounded the idea of believers. Why would a believer feel less anxious and less stressed even after having made an error? Would such arise from the scriptural teaching that through Christ all is forgiven, that all men error and should merely strive to do better, or that making an error simply didn’t matter that much to them? But, then I thought, surely the unbeliever would also acknowledge that all men error and should strive to do better, and clearly there are those who obviously don’t care if they error at all. So, as the study shows, we are left with the only real difference is the believing or not believing in God.

Interestingly, a similar article on the same topic from Medical News Today.com goes a little further in declaring, ‘The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made.’

So then I wondered, does this reflect the thought that believers acknowledge a forgiveness of error through repentance and faith in Christ, or is there a belief that the weighing of the scales (good deeds vs. bad deeds) in the hands of God will lend them mercy and grace? Basically, is there a faith vs. works doctrinal difference among believers, yet lending both to have less anxiety regarding their error? And not only does the report show believers as ‘less likely to feel anxious about making errors,’ but also about ‘facing the unknown.’

Given just the little we have in these two articles, it should cause us to ponder two quick thoughts: (1) the further away from believing in God one becomes, the more likely they are to be anxious about their mistakes and the more they are likely to make; (2) although a believer in God becomes less anxious about their mistakes as they become less frequent, this does not guarantee true conversion has occurred even if profession has been made.

How so, one may ask. Scripture tells us that believing in God is not enough, for ‘the devils also believe, and tremble.’ Scripture also acknowledges that though there will be many who claim their works should be counted to save them, believers are saved by faith and not of works. So, dear unbeliever, maybe you would consider believing in God to ease a little anxiety. And to both, make sure your belief is grounded in faith.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Chemical Reaction not Evolution, of Fishes and Men

According to Discovery News, ‘Around the world, increasing numbers of male fish are developing female traits -- growing new sexual organs and sometimes even producing eggs.’

As I began to read the article, I must admit I fully expected to see some type of promotion of a proof for evolution. I mean, clearly a fish mutating from its normality would give some type of credence to an eyewitness account of it, would it not? To my dismay, there was no attempt to tie in the discovery with evolution (whether macro or micro), but ‘the phenomenon has been blamed mostly on chemicals that get into the water and mimic the female hormone estrogen.’

With this, I can’t help but ponder the possible similar affect within humans. For a moment, if we consider the article as written, we see the science/research community noticing a change in the fish genetically producing the mutation of male fish becoming female (whether in part or in addition). They reveal their belief of such actions is due to the fish coming in contact with a chemical which blocks male hormones, in conjunction with a chemical which mimics female hormones. But, with this study, it appears that they also realize the affect such could have on humanity, given the thought, ‘the new research found that there are far more of these chemicals in our lakes and streams than anyone realized.’

It must be noted that these researchers see the chemicals as harmful, to fish, mammals, and humans, along with acknowledging the mutation of male-female hormones within the fish is not normal. So, since this blog is Christian in nature, this brings us once again to the thought of homosexuality, transsexual, and possibly hermaphrodites in light of the Scriptures.

Regarding hermaphrodites, I would admit I don’t recall Scripture mentioning such, but all would have to admit that such mutation during birth is clearly out of the control of the individual. I do not believe there would be any stretch of the imagination to assume they do not choose to be born with both male and female organs, but will have to adjust and determine where they stand as individuals as they mature and live in society. Though their physical body may lend struggles in life, I would venture to say they have both the ability of choosing the heterosexual or homosexual lifestyle.

Now, concerning homosexuality (which would include the hermaphrodite who chooses such) and the transsexual (which I suppose is merely homosexual in nature), we have previously cited Scriptural references regarding God’s displeasure with such. Here, we now see the researchers’ claim that a male fish taking upon itself the character and possibly even the physical appearance of a female fish is not normal, but rather a mutation and corruption of nature by way of chemicals, etc.

With this said, my conclusionary thought is: If researchers see the mutation of male fish taking upon themselves the characteristics and physical properties of female fish as abnormal and something to try and fix, why is it that we are told that homosexuality and transsexuality is normal and something to be embraced? ‘After all, people and fish have similar hormonal systems.’

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.